Saturday, 20 September 2014

Home Counties Cruise: Day 15

As it was getting dark yesterday evening, we crossed the gang plank and had a walk up the path by the river.  We eventually reached one of the lodges, available through the Cliveden hotel for £2000 a night; cars with Cliveden personalised number plates were collecting the guests, who were in evening dress, presumably to take them up to the hotel for dinner.

There was another tremendous thunder storm and heavy rain at about 6.30 this morning.  Being under the trees meant the sound of raindrops on the roof continued long after the rain itself had stopped, as the trees dripped.  However, it's only the second time it has rained this trip, and both have been at night.

As it was the weekend, we had scrambled eggs and bacon, and then set off at 8.30.  Boulter's Lock was on self service when we arrived, but the lock keeper turned up while we were decending and opened the bottom gates for us.  We stopped on the moorings next to the road at Maidenhead, so Adrian could go to shop, while I started a wash load and got the leaves off the roof.  The moorings are not very user friendly, with only the occasional ring half way up the wall; otherwise, you have to tie up to the railings, so the path (used only by boaters) has numerous ropes across it at waist or shoulder height.

Bray Lock and Boveney Lock are at either end of Dorney Reach.  The control consols are gold, in honour of the Olympic medals won at Dorney Lake.

Below Boveney Lock we turned into the weir stream to go to the water point, and Adrian took the rubbish over the lock to the bins.  In typical Thames style, the water point has a large hose and a good strong flow.

Windsor was very busy, with private boats, trip boats, and rowers.  The views are much better in this direction, though, even though it was a dull and misty day.

Lots of boats had come down Boveney Lock with us and while we were filling the water tank, but one by one they all moored up.  By the next lock, Romney (which is bigger than the ones above) we were on our own; the lock keeper says all the boats from the three marinas above Boveney Lock only even go to Windsor on a Saturday, before returning to their marina on Sunday.

Our target for the day was Runnymede; three years ago we stopped here when we had our friends Brian and Mike with us, and we walked up to the Airforces Memorial and were quite moved by it.  Adrian didn't come with us though, and wanted to put right the omission.  We moored in one of the better spots further back from the road, and headed up the hill.  The memorial lists the names of twenty-thousand Commonwealth airmen with no known grave.  It's an impressive and moving place.

Unfortuantely it was still a misty murky day, so the views from the tower weren't nearly as good as last time.  We'll have to come back again!  One of the halls of residence for Royal Holloway is next door, and there were dozens of families delivering their teenagers for the start of term.

We then walked down to the Magna Carta Memorial, and then the JFK memorial, which is on an acre of land given to the United States.

We returned to the boat and bumped into the National Trust warden, who relieved us of £7 for an overnight mooring.  The river has been busy; the French's trip boat has been going up and down, and there have been all sorts of other boats of various shapes and sizes.

13 miles, 5 locks.  (189 miles, 121 locks)

1 comment:

nb Chuffed said...

We have been enjoying your blog as we covered some of your route earlier this year and last! We went to the memorials last year (again on a damp and grey day) and found the Air Forces one very moving too.
best wishes